The June Previews catalog has arrived and, as always it’s sitting on my desk available for your perusal when you stop by. Meanwhile I will try to point out the new and notable items that I think might hold interest for you. The solicitations are for comics and products that will begin shipping in August.
Some of the codes and abbreviations that I use are: HC (hard cover), TP (trade paperbacks), SC (soft cover), GN (graphic novel), OGN (original graphic novel-not a reprint or collection), MMPB (mass market paperbacks), AF (action figure), T/C (trading cards), T/S (tee shirt) and ☼(to denote an excellent writer, creator or title deserving wider recognition in my humble opinion).
By the way, besides the monthly Previews catalog there is also an ‘Adult Supplement’ which showcases the ‘adults only’ comics, books and videos. If you are interested in seeing what’s available (and you’re over eighteen) please send me an email and I will send you this month’s adult catalog in a pdf format.
DARK HORSE: The new HALO: INITIATION #1 OF 3 is written by comic veteran Brian Reed who also is a writer of the game and this series will tell the origin of Sarah Palmer and the Spartan IV program. The STAR WARS OMNIBUS: WILD SPACE VOLUME 2 TP is more of the rare and never before collected tales of Jabba the Hutt, Hans Solo and Lando Calrissian and also features a lot of the lighter comedy stories. Art Baltazar and Franco, the folks who did the ‘Tiny Titans’ and ‘Superman Family Adventures’ bring their ‘Aw Yeah’ comics to Dark Horse with the ☼ITTY BITTY HELLBOY #1 OF 3, suitable for all ages. B.P.R.D.: HELL ON EARTH #103 begins a new story, ‘Lake of Fire’ part one of five with Mike Mignola and John Arcudi writing and Eisner winner Tyler Crook providing the art. The new ☼HELLBOY: THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS OGN-HC is written by Mike Mignola with the art of Duncan Fegredo as young Hellboy stumbles onto a circus populated with demons. ☼RESIDENT ALIEN: THE SUICIDE BLONDE #0 collects the chapters that were serialized in ‘Dark Horse Presents’ recently, and serves as a set up for the upcoming limited series; the murder mystery features an alien living undercover as a small town doctor and is written by Peter Hogan with the art of Steve Parkhouse. Brian Wood begins a new arc with artist Paul Azaceta in CONAN THE BARBARIAN #19, Sara Ryan writes and Carla Speed McNeil illustrates the coming of age story, ☼BAD HOUSES TP, a tale of intersecting lives in a failing Oregon lumber town.
DC: The ‘Trinity War’ rages through JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #23 and concludes in JUSTICE LEAGUE #23 revealing the secret behind Pandora’s box, portending the end of the Justice Leagues. The story also has tie-ins in TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA #3 and PHANTOM STRANGER #11. And, although Geoff Johns has left ‘Green Lantern’ he’s still writing both ‘Justice League’ titles as well as ‘Aquaman’ each month. If the return of the New Gods is moving too slowly in the ‘New 52’ check out EARTH 2 #15 as the Hunger Dogs of Apokolips attack. In SUPERMAN #23 by Scott Lobdell and Rocafort, the ‘Psi-War’ begins with Hector Hammond and a new Psycho Pirate and the story continues in SUPERBOY #23. The ☼BATMAN, INCORPORATED SPECIAL #1 is written and illustrated by series artist Chris Burnham featuring Man-of-Bats, Red Raven, El Gaucho, Dark Ranger, Knight and more, plus Bat-Cow makes her solo debut in a story by Dan DiDio and artist Ethan Van Sciver. In Detective Comics #23 Alfred battles the anti-Batman known as the Wrath and in BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #23 the Mad Hatter proves an unlikely ally with Batman and Commissioner Gordon against the murderous Clayface. Gail Simone begins the ‘Batgirl Wanted’ epic in BATGIRL #23 with art by Fernando Pasarin and Jonathan Glapion as Barbara’s father hunts his son’s murderer not knowing that the culprit may be Barbara. CATWOMAN #23 poses the question, who is the Joker’s daughter. Four series’ of the New 52 end this month: THRESHOLD #8, DEMON KNIGHTS #23, Dial H #23, a double sized issue and LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #23, a special issue with art by Kevin Maguire and a surprise ending are all the final issues of these series. The DC UNIVERSE VS. THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 OF 6 is written by Keith Giffen with art by Dexter Soy as Skeletor hides on Earth while trying to siphon off the magic in the Earth’s core. The BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE #1 replaces the ‘Batman Beyond Unlimited’ series opening the door for more future tales of the DCU. ☼THE JOKER: DEATH OF THE FAMILY HC collects the stories involving the return of the faceless Joker, a companion volume to the ‘Batman: Death of the Family HC’ The BATMAN UNWRAPPED BY ANY KUBERT: DELUXE EDITION HC collects stories by Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder and Mark Waid, all featuring the pencil art of Andy, including the stories that introduced Damian Wayne and ‘Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader’. The DC ONE MILLION OMNIBUS HC is over a thousand pages collecting Grant Morrison’s 1999 event and all of the stories taking place in the 853rd century; it’s priced at a hundred dollars. The AME-COMI GIRLS VOLUME #1 TP and the ARROW VOLUME #1 TP are the first collections of these new series’ and for those looking for something more ‘old school’ the SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER VILLAINS TP VOLUME #1 collects stories featuring Sinestro, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold and others from the mid seventies and early eighties. The WORLD OF WARCRAFT: PEARL OF PANDARIA TP is an original graphic novel published in a landscape format, written by Micky Neilson with art by Sean ‘Cheeks’ Galloway. At DC’s mature readers imprint, Vertigo, Jeff Lemire writes and illustrates a historical adventure, a science fiction story and an unconventional love story all in one in ☼TRILLIUM #1 OF 8, the first issue of which will be a flip book with two covers and two separate but connected stories. After more than a decade Bill Willingham’s often imitated series gets a comprehensive reference companion with the FABLES ENCYCLOPEDIA: DELUXE EDITION HC with listings of every character from Aladdin to Zephyr. The ☼AMERICAN VAMPIRE ANTHOLOGY #1 is an eighty page comic with eight tales featuring authors Scott Snyder, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, artists Becky Cloonan, Rafael Albuquerque, Francesco Francavilla and Declan Shalvey and writer/artists Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon and more. The ‘behind the scenes’ versions of some of DC’s best comics are becoming more popular and this month is offered THE WAKE: DIRECTOR’S CUT #1 featuring character designs, script pages and Sean Murphy’s pencil art and a similar release this month is the JUSTICE LEAGUE: TRINITY WAR-DIRECTOR’S CUT #1 with Geoff John’s script and Ivan Reis’ pencil work. The six part screenplay adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s recent Oscar winning film now concludes in the forty eight page ☼DJANGO UNCHAINED #7 OF 7, with art by R. M Guera and Jason La Tour. ☼NEIL YOUNG’S GREENDALE TP finally brings the legendary singer-songwriter’s personal tale of unrest and political activism to the affordable soft cover format. DC Direct, the subdivision that makes the tie in products to the comic book line offers a Batman and a Black Mask action figure to the BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS SERIES ONE set and also offers the NEW 52: PANDORA ACTION FIGURE as well as the SUPERVILLAINS: BLACK ADAM ACTION FIGURE.
IDW: Idea and Design Works launches THUNDERBOLTS #1, a super hero comic originally published by Tower Comics and made famous when legendary artists like Wally Wood, Steve Ditko and Reed Crandall illustrated it, now to be written by Phil Hester with art by Andrea di Vito; IDW will also offer a trade paperback reprinting the classic issues. Joe Hill’s ☼LOCKE & KEY: ALPHA #1 OF 2 brings to a close this suspenseful horror series which is already a role playing game and has been optioned for television. KISS KIDS #1 OF 4 is a kid friendly series featuring diminutive versions of the band members in adventures minus the blood and fire but with enough inside jokes to keep the grown Kiss fans intrigued. The TRANSFORMERS: PRELUDE TP collects the six ‘Spotlight’ issues, one shots focusing on major characters including: Orion Pax, Thundercracker, Megatron, Bumblebee, Trailcutter and Hoist. (Next month IDW launches ‘Black Dynamite’ and announces the return of the ‘Powerpuff Girls’.)
IMAGE: A few months ago I told you that Joe Michael Straczynski had resurrected his ‘Joe’s Comics’ imprint at Image and planned to return full force to comics and at that time he launched his ‘Ten Grand’ series. His new book this month is ☼THE SIDEKICK #1 featuring art by Tom Mandrake and Brian Miller which tells of the degradation and humiliation of Flyboy in the aftermath of the Cowl’s death. BURN THE ORPHANAGE: BORN TO LOSE #1 OF 3 is written by Daniel Freedman and Sina Grace, and Sina also provides the art and cover; this is the beginning of the ‘Burn to Lose’ trilogy and is a story of revenge as the only survivor of the orphanage fire recklessly attempts to find and punish the culprit. You may have heard me say this before; the company to watch for the best new writers and artists is Image; all the best creators get their starts here these days (before DC or Marvel snatch them away to work on their licensed properties). For those of you who showed up late to the party, the first two arcs of the captivating science fiction series are out in soft cover and ☼SAGA #13 begins the third arc; a third chance to get on board Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ critically acclaimed series. And while I’m talking about one of the best series’ on the racks, here’s another one: the ☼EAST OF WEST, VOLUME #1: THE PROMISE TP collects the first five issues of Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s take on the end times. The ☼MORNING GLORIES, VOLUME #5 TP collects the first arc of ‘Season Two’ of this wonderful suspense series, the ☼ONE TRICK RIP-OFF/DEEP-CUTS TP is Paul Pope’s long awaited collection including the ‘Supertrouble’ manga he created for Kodansha in Japan in the nineties. ☼TODD, THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH, VOLUME #1 TP collects the four issue series that proved so popular that it’s now ongoing, written by Ken Kristensen with the art of M. K. Perker who was nominated for an Eisner award for his work on the ‘Cairo’ GN. Some other recommended tales this month include Nick Spencer’s ☼BEDLAM #10, Joe Casey’s ☼THE BOUNCE #4, Nathan Edmondson’s ☼THE DREAM MERCHANT #4 OF 6, Mark Millar’s ☼JUPITER’S LEGACY #3, Greg Rucka’s☼LAZARUS #3, Ted McKeever’s ☼MINIATURE JESUS #5 OF 5 and Matt Fraction’s ☼SATELLITE SAM #2. Last month I didn’t have a Pick of the Month and part of the reason for that is lack of information; I would have named ‘Satellite Sam’ the Pick of the Month but Image failed to let me know if it was ongoing, a limited series or a one shot. Now that I know it’s intended to be ongoing I’m more convinced it will be a good one.
MARVEL: Jonathan Hickman writes and Jim Cheung meticulously illustrates the next big thing, INFINITY #1 OF 6 with war on Earth and in space and the return of Thanos and prelude’s to the cross over in Hickman’s AVENGERS #17 and #18 and Jason Aaron’s THANOS RISING #5 OF 5 plus tie-ins in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18, NEW AVENGERS #9, CAPTAIN MARVEL #15 and THUNDERBOLTS #14, this is another big story. The last ‘big thing’, the ‘Age of Ultron’ cross over hasn’t ended without fallout; last month I mentioned a classified comic titled ‘Age of Ultron #10UC’ and Marvel has ‘un-classified’ that issue now and it’s written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Leonard Kirk and the title is now HUNGER #1 OF 4. There’s still little information being revealed as the ‘House of Ideas’ doesn’t want to spoil the surprised ending of ‘Age of Ultron’ before it ends (but with a title like ‘Hunger’ do you suspect a return of Galactus?). The new SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM UP #2 begins the ‘Sibling Rivalry’ story as the Doc Ock/Spidey title crosses into SCARLET SPIDER #20 and #21 and the two Spider ‘brothers’ explore their differences. The ☼ROCKET RACCOON: TALES FROM HALF-WORLD is a one shot by Bill Mantlo with art by Mike Mignola reprinting the ‘Rocket Raccoon’ four part limited series from 1985. ☼GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #6 is written by Brian Michael Bendis and Neil Gaiman with art by Sara Pichelli as Angela battles Gamora. ☼THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #11 ends the saga of the God Butcher that began in issue one and ☼THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #12 has our hero returning to Midgard and heralds the return of Dr. Jane Foster to the saga with new series artist Nic Klein. Mark Waid writes and Chris Samnee draws☼DAREDEVIL #30; what menace would bring about his team up with the Silver Surfer? New artist Annie Wu draws HAWKEYE #14 by Matt Fraction, picking up on the events of the annual. The revelations from the first issue (which just hit the stands), that Jubilee is now a vampire and a teen single mother, continues to complicate things as ☼X-MEN #4 begins the second arc written by Brian Wood with the artwork of David Lopez. DEADPOOL #13 featured Iron Fist and Luke Cage in a story set in the seventies, DEADPOOL #14 concludes that story in the present and DEADPOOL #15 begins a new five part story, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ with new artist Declan Shalvey and guest starring Wolverine and Captain America. After a long hiatus Marvel has decided to relaunch their original graphic novel line and they’ve tagged scribe Warren Ellis to do so; the first release will be☼AVENGERS: ENDLESS WARTIME OGN-HC with art by Mike McKone. The NEW AVENGERS: BREAKOUT Prose Novel MMPB written by Alisa Kwitney is now offered in softcover and the ENDER’S GAME GRAPHIC NOVEL TP collects the first two five part limited series in time for the film. The AGE OF ULTRON HC will collect the whole ten issue series plus the nine issues of tie-ins, over four hundred and fifty pages for seventy five dollars. The ☼HAWKEYE, VOLUME #1 HC collects the first eleven issues plus ‘Young Avengers Presents’ #6. The S.H.I.E.L.D. by STERANKO: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP returns to print as does ☼INHUMANS: THE ORIGIN OF THE INHUMANS TP collecting the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby works from 1961 to 1966.
INDEPENDENTS: Above are the big five publishers and following is the new and notable from the smaller publishers. Every month the Previews catalog has a theme and this is ‘Kids Comics Month’ so expect a lot of new all age books. ABSTRACT PRESS offers ☼RACHEL RISING #19 and the ☼RACHEL RISING, VOLUME #3: CEMETARY SONGS TP, collecting issues thirteen through eighteen of the horror series. This is a fine, character driven story, like all of Terry Moore’s work to date, it’s been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and will be adapted to television soon. AMIGO COMICS offers their first all age series with ARCANE SECRETS #1, billed as ‘Lovecraft for Kids: The Cthulhu mythos for the whole family’. ANTARCTIC PRESS continues their steampunk fascination with VICTORIAN SECRET AGENTS: OWLS OF IRON WORK ISLE #3 OF 5 and adds a new one shot by Rod Espinosa, STEAMPUNK CORSAIRS #1. APE ENTERTAINMENT launches GENIE THE GENIUS #1, a new all age series created by Darren Sanchez and former NFL quarterback, Boomer Esiason. THE THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR OGN-HC spins out of eight years of stage shows and three years of podcasts into the visual medium of comics, this is a genre spanning collection from ARCHAIA ENTERTAINMENT done in the style of old-time radio adventure programs written and created by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker. If those digests aren’t enough to fill your Riverdale fix ARCHIE COMICS offers the ARCHIE 1,000 PAGE COMICS EXTRAVAGANZA TP with over one hundred full color stories for under fifteen bucks. Celebrating their tenth anniversary ASPEN COMICS offers one new series per month with the first issue being offered for one dollar; their seventh ‘ten for ten’ title is OVERTAKEN #1 OF 5 written by Frank Mastromauro with art by newcomer Marco Lorenzana. Alan Moore wrote a story with Malcolm McLaren in 1985 intended for film, Antony Johnston adapted it for comics with the art of Facundo Percio and now that the ten issue series is complete AVATAR PRESS collects it as ☼ALAN MOORE’S FASHION BEAST, available in soft cover or hard cover editions, the hard cover edition available through comic book stores exclusively. BIG DOG INK offers two new series’ this month, the SHAHRAZAD PROLOGUE is a sixteen page comic for a dollar ninety nine written by Tom Hutchison with art by Mike Krome that leads to the ongoing series due this fall and PENNY FOR YOUR SOUL: DEATH #1 OF 7 picks up after the ‘Penny for Your Soul: Joan of Arc’ series as the Daughter of Heaven deals with the darkness of Las Vegas. At BOOM! STUDIOS Steven Grant writes and Emilio Laiso illustrates ☼3 GUNS #1 OF 6, the sequel to ‘2 Guns’ which will appear in theaters on August second starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Steven Grant also adapts Frank Miller’s ROBOCOP: LAST STAND #1 OF 8 with art by Korkut Öztekin; this is the sequel to the ‘Frank Miller Robocop, Volume #1 TP’ which adapted Frank’s screenplay for the film (which he felt was ruined by the Hollywood folks who produced it). Boom!’s all age imprint, KaBOOM! presents MIKE KUNKEL’S HEROBEAR AND THE KID: THE INHERITANCE #1 OF 5 (and hopefully it will ship in a timely fashion; his first five issue series began in 1999 and issue five didn’t arrive until 2002). DYNAMITE unites two of their licensed properties in LORDS OF MARS #1 OF 6 as John Carter and Tarzan meet, written by Arvid Nelson with art by Roberto Castro. LADY RAWHIDE #1 OF 5 is a new adventure written by Eric Trautmann with art by Milton Estevam under a cover by Joseph Michael Linsner. VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC #1 OF 5 is written by Nate Cosby with art by Jose Luis. Three new forty page one shots this month are THE LIVING CORPSE: HAUNTED, DAMSELS: GIANT KILLER and MISS FURY DIGITAL #1. PATHFINDER: GOBLINS #1 OF 5 will feature a couple of stories per issue by a variety of creators. DRAWN & QUARTERLY solicits ☼OPTIC NERVE #13, the latest offering from Adrian Tomine, a full color forty page issue with three complete new stories. Now in its fourth decade ☼LOVE & ROCKETS: NEW STORIES #6 collects the latest works of brothers Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez from FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS and THE COMPLETE PEANUTS, VOLUME #20 completes collecting all of the tales from the eighties and begins the final decade of Charles M. Schulz’ great American comic strip. HERMES PRESS is known for producing hard cover remastered editions of classic, long out of print series like ‘Pogo’ and ‘The Phantom’ and this month they offer their first original comic series with ☼BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY #1 OF 4, written and illustrated by Howard Chaykin as the former WWI ace wakes five hundred years in the future and begins the battle to free the United States from the Chinese. Ted Naifeh’s all age adventure series combining mystery and the mystical gets another deluxe collection with the ☼COURTNEY CRUMRIN, VOLUME #4 HC at ONI PRESS also offering the full color THE SIXTH GUN HC, VOLUME #1 collecting the first eleven issues. The British publisher, TITAN BOOKS offers the fifth collection with LENORE: PURPLE NURPLES COLOR EDITION HC, tales of Roman Dirge’s ‘cute little dead girl’, they begin collecting ☼FIRST KINGDOM, VOLUME #1 OF 6: THE BIRTH OF TUNDRAN HC the remastered post-apocalyptic graphic novels by Jack Katz, and they offer ☼DEATH SENTENCE #1 OF 6, described as ‘X-Men meets Trainspotting by way of a sexually transmitted virus’. TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS presents ☼MARCH: BOOK ONE GN, the first of an autobiographic trilogy telling the life story of Congressman John Lewis, one of the key figures in the Civil Rights movement, he went from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Co-written by staff member and life long comic fan, Andrew Aydin with art by Eisner Award winner Nate Powell, like the Pulitzer winning ‘Maus’, this shows that the comics’ medium is capable of so much more than post-adolescent power fantasies. This series is my Pick of the Month for June. VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT offers BLOODSHOT #0 with Matt Kindt writing and art by Chris Cross, this is the definitive origin. Also HARBINGER #15 begins a new arc with Joshua Dysart writing and Barry Kitson providing the artwork. The HELTER SKELTER: FASHION UNFRIENDLY GN from VERTICAL, INC. is part of the company’s ‘new women’ line and creator Kyoko Okazaki is in the forefront of Josei (women’s) comickers and this work looks at the extreme life choices that models make to stay relevant in the world so focused on beauty. ZENESCOPE launches REALM KNIGHTS #1 OF 4 on the heels of the recent one shot, a team consisting of Robyn Hood, Red Riding Hood, Cross, Helsing, Shang and Sela.
And that completes the comic books offered this month. Also available through the Previews catalog are books, toys, apparel, prints and posters, novelties and magazines, trading cards and more so feel free to look through the catalog next time you stop by.
NEWS: On June nineteenth local creator Eric M. Esquivel will be here to sign copies of his new series, ☼THE IN-CROWD #1 and on Saturday, the third of August there will be a charity event at the shop, all day to benefit Emerge, Tucson’s domestic violence center. Artists will provide sketches, there will be a silent auction of original art, rare comics, etc., there will be a raffle with graphic novels and action figures as prizes and there will be a coloring contest for the kids with all proceeds to benefit Emerge. More details on these and other upcoming store events can be found at the web site: www.CharliesComics.com.
Thank you all for your orders, your friendship and support. I’m honored and humbled to be able to assist in your hobby and passion and I appreciate your trusting me to do so. See you soon!